The Whitworth men reclaimed the title at the Northwest Conference Swimming Championships while the women finished third as the three-day meet concluded Sunday in Federal Way, Washington.
Whitworth’s men scored 700 points to defeat runner-up and defending champion Whitman by 135 points. The Pirates had won 12 straight championships until Whitman ended Whitworth’s streak last season.
The Pirates won seven individual events and three relays over the three days to claim victory in half of the meet’s 20 events. Pirates head coach Steve Schadt was named conference men’s Coach of the Year.
Wes Walton was the NWC Swimmer of the Meet for the third time in his Whitworth career. He won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:49.21 and the 400 IM in 3:58.81. He then led a 1-2-3 Whitworth finish in the 200 backstroke with a winning time of 1:48.11. Walton’s time of 1:47.92 in the prelims set an NWC record.
Walton anchored Whitworth’s win in the 400 medley relay, winning in 3:20.84.
The Pirates also won the 200 medley relay with a meet-record time of 3:20.84.
Whitworth closed the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:05.21, breaking a 20-year-old school record.
Other Whitworth winners were: Jason Smith, 100 backstroke, 49.41; Eben Schumann, 100 butterfly, 49.35; Brandon Smith, 1,650 freestyle, 15:56.41; Trevor Case, 200 breaststroke, 2:05.45.
Whitworth’s Patrick Wilber posted a time of 49.36 in the preliminary heats of the 100 backstroke for a NWC record, but was second to Jason Smith in the finals.
For the Whitworth women, Jackie Beal earned NWC Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year. She defended her titles in the 200 IM, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke. Her winning time of 2:02.19 in the 200 back is a NWC record.
Pacific Lutheran earned its third straight NWC women’s title with 796 points. Whitworth had 475, three points back of Whitman.
Matthew Nelson drove in two big runs and Jeremy Druffel had a first-inning, two-run homer to help Whitworth on its way to a 7-4 victory over Concordia (Texas) in Austin, Texas.
Nelson gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead with a two-out hit in the third inning to score Daniel Casanova, and Nelson’s double in the third brought in Casanova to make it 4-3 and led to Druffel scoring from third on a ground out.
Ryan Bird’s two-run double in the fifth gave the Pirates a three-run cushion.
Nelson finished with three hits, including two doubles, and Druffel and Casanova two each. Ryan Kingma (2-0) gave up three earned runs and struck out nine to get the win with Connor Sand throwing four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief.
Whitworth (8-0) is off to its best start in program history. Concordia is 1-3.
Track and field
Three Whitworth athletes set school indoor records on at Husky Open in Seattle.
On Saturday, Troy Fraley broke his own Gonzaga indoor 3,000 mark in 7:57.16, placing 12th.
The Spokane Braves scored the first goal but Nelson notched the next five and the Leafs’ went on to a 7-2 KIJHL victory in Nelson, British Columbia.
Elliot Plourde scored at 10:49 of the first period for Spokane (8-38-0-0-4, 20 points) before Nelson finished the period with three goals.
Kurtis Redding got the Braves’ other goal on a power play at 4:56 of the second period.
Kolten Nelson had three goals for Nelson (20-27-0-0-2, 42).
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